Big weekend ahead

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I’ve got a big weekend ahead of me. I’m doing my hardest three consecutive days of training for the Unity Tour to date.

I’m doing 45 – 35 – 60 over the next 3 days. It’s hard for me to get in longer rides on my work days because my shifts are so long.

I did a mini hill repeat session the other night and was rewarded by being attacked by a dog mid-ride. Thankfully the border collie and I escaped our collision mostly unscathed.

I’m nervous about the tour. I know I’ll manage and survive – I always do. I’ve worked my butt off in training but I always self criticize and think I could be in better shape than I am.

Now I just have to tear myself away from Avs playoff hockey to get a decent night of sleep.

Longmire Hangover

I’m trying to get back to normal living again now that I don’t have a Longmire book to read.  It’s been a little strange not reading as much.  I’ve already started another book – The Warmth of Other Suns - a story about the Great Migration of blacks from the South to the North and West. 

I’m only a few weeks away from my Police Unity Tour ride.  I honestly have no idea if I’m ready.  I know I’ve been doing the best that I can in training.  I cycled 90 miles total this past weekend.  I’m really looking forward to this weekend – 70 degrees all weekend.  I need a whole weekend of outdoor riding.   I think that will help me in being mentally prepared.  I’m going to set up a bike tune-up for next week.  My chain is horribly greased up.  I tried to clean it not too long ago but I didn’t get it completely clean and that was a few hundred miles ago.  

Maybe once I get back from D.C. I will be more prepared to make reservations for the rest of our August trip to Idaho.  We could be sleeping in the car by the time I get around to making decisions.  

14+ books read in 2014

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 8.02.29 PMSo there I was cruising along making steady progress on checking off one of my new years resolutions – read 14 books in 2014.  This seemed like a huge challenge, especially as I was averaging about a book a month to start the year.

Enter Walt Longmire.  He’s  a sheriff in Absaroka County, Wyoming.  Well, a fictional sheriff.  He’s got a lifelong friend in Cheyenne indian, Henry Standing Bear and deputies Ferg, Sancho, Double Tough, and Vic to help him enforce the law in northern Wyoming.  He’s a widower and the father of a big-time lawyer in Philadelphia.

In less than two weeks, I read the entire Walt Longmire series by Craig Johnson.  That’s nine books and few short stories.  Each book ranges around 325 pages and usually centers around a mystery.  Once I started The Cold Dish – the first of the series – I could not stop reading.

I read while I brushed by teeth.  I read while I unloaded the dishwasher.  I read while peddling.  I read while eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I read until the wee hours of the morning.  With each book, I wanted more.

I have my favorites.  There was only one that I really could have lived without.  I enjoyed how each took a slightly different structural approach to how the story was told and unfolded.  I know I don’t have the time to go over each book individually, especially as I’ve been closed off from life for the past week and a half.  I have lots to catch up on.

The books I added to my list…

  1. The Cold Dish
  2. Death Without Company
  3. Kindness Goes Unpunished
  4. Another Man’s Moccasins
  5. The Dark Horse
  6. Junkyard Dogs
  7. Hell is Empty (This is the one I could live without)
  8. As the Crow Flies
  9. The Serpent’s Tooth

I’ll definitely revisit a few of these at some point.  I’m sure in my speed binge reading I missed a few things along the way.  Johnson has another Longmire book set to be released in early May!  Perfect timing!

And thanks to Johnson I have successfully completed a new years resolution.  I’ve read 15 books thus far!  I guess now I’ll just see how many I can read in one year!

Spring Cleaning

Well, I really wouldn’t call it spring cleaning.  I’m working on putting my office back together.  And then maybe I’ll get to some cleaning.  The snow (in April – what?!) is keeping me inside today.  And being on-call keeps me close to home.  It’s a good time to get some stuff done.

I’ve got two desks/tables set up in here.  I still have some work to do with them – will some day get them sanded and lacquered.  I’ll just use them as is for now and keep food and drink away from them.  I need some normalcy back in the room.  It’s been weeks since I sat down at the computer or worked on organizing stuff.

I don’t even want to think about how far I’ve fallen behind in Project Life.  My plan is to just do a few spreads to cover the missing weeks and then start back up again and try to keep current.  Ok, back to it…

6 of 14

sprinklesI’m not sure reading Sinister Sprinkles after Dog on It set it up for much success.  I checked out this e-book from the library and almost stopped reading it a few chapters in because the writing was so dull.

I’ve read quite a few culinary mysteries and this one just took forever to get rolling and get me invested in the story.  The worst part about it was the main character was so condescending to everyone she came in contact with that it was irritating.  So friggin’ irritating.

I did stick the mystery out until the end.  Considering I’ve read a few first books to series on by 14 in 14 adventure, this is definitely one I will not revisit.  I just kept thinking to myself, if this person can get published, then surely someday I will be able to get a book published. HA!

From Barnes and Noble:

Just in time for the Winter Festival, a glistening layer of snow has covered the streets of April Springs, North Carolina. Of course, it reminds donut shop owner Suzanne Hart of sweet delicious frosting. But her visions of sugar plums plummet when her ex’s ex-girlfriend gets iced …

“If you like donuts—and who doesn’t?—you’ll love this mystery series.”—Leslie Meier Suzanne could never understand why her ex-husband and actor Max cheated on her with Darlene Higgins. Why Darlene’s body was found wearing another woman’s clothes is an even bigger mystery. Now Max is suspected of murder—and Suzanne is sifting through her mixed-up love life looking for clues. If she can’t sprinkle evidence on her half-baked theories of whodunit, Max is as good as fried….  

5 of 14

My 5th book of the year was one I purchased as a Nook Deal of the Day or got via Free Nook Book Friday – I can’t remember as I’ve had it on my Nook for so long.  I finally decided to dive into it and in hindsight, I’m bummed it took me so long.

From Barnes and Noble:

The first book of the New York Times bestselling Chet and Bernie mystery series, an “enchanting one-of-a-kind novel” (Stephen King) that is “nothing short of masterful” (Los Angeles Times).

Chet, the wise and lovable canine narrator of Dog on It, and Bernie, a down-on-his-luck private investigator, are quick to take a new case involving a frantic mother searching for her teenage daughter. This well-behaved and gifted student may or may not have been kidnapped, but she has definitely gotten mixed up with some very unsavory characters. With Chet’s highly trained nose leading the way, their hunt for clues takes them into the desert to biker bars and other exotic locales—until the bad guys try to turn the tables and the resourceful duo lands in the paws of peril. Spencer Quinn’s irresistible mystery kicks off a delightful new series that will have readers panting for more.

dogonitDog on It by Spencer Quinn was really entertaining.  I loved that it was a story told from the dog’s perspective.  It really made me think about what goes through Brinkley’s head on a daily basis.  Simple joys and smarter than we give them credit for – that’s how I envision a dog’s mind as well.

I usually stay away from stories involving dogs as a main character because more often than not the book ends with the dog dying.  I don’t like that.  I like happy endings because the world already has enough doom and gloom.  Why would I want to voluntarily submit myself to a sad, emotional saga?!

I figured this book was a safe bet because it’s a series – #7 comes out in August.  It was a safe bet for the most part.  I did want to stop reading when Chet was strapped to the table only to be saved moments before being euthanized.  I about pulled a Joey and stuck the book in the freezer.  :-)

Anywho, I’ll definitely be reading more of the Bernie and Chet books in the future.  I cruised through the book in just a couple of days.  And it was nice to switch to something more lighthearted after reading The Maze Runner.

Stupid forecasts

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Yesterday was a productive one but I still feel like I missed out on an entire day off this weekend. I did a few quick errands in the morning and then have Brink a haircut! He’s pretty proud of how handsome he looks.

Once the sun came out and it reached 54 outside, I headed out on a bike ride. The first 15 miles weren’t bad – it was breezy but I figured I would warm up. That didn’t happen.

I peddled until trails ended or were closed because of flood damage. And then I would peddle some more until another trail ended.

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I was all over the place and intended to keep going until the wind, cold, and uphill pretty much did me in. I noticed it was past 5 and that I still had laundry to do too!!

It was a disappointing day. This crappier/non-warm Spring weather is killing me on the weekends. I expected to have more outside miles in by now so I’m frustrated.

Every time I look at the forecast, it looks like my weekend will be nice and then it changes by mid-week. Blah.

I ended up doing 35 miles. I definitely could not have done more – me legs were toast thanks to the seemingly constant headwind. Right now I’m hoping New Jersey to D.C. is mostly downhill. Haha!

4 of 14

Many things have kept  me from posting regularly.  Working on the office, assembling furniture, cleaning, laundry, fun trips to Denver, volleyball, Disney on Ice – life’s been happening I just haven’t had time to write about it.

I’ve also been reading!  Last week I finished Maze Runner.  I’d heard about this book a while ago while reading the Hunger Games trilogy but never got around to reading it.  A few months back Barnes & Noble had a deal on it so I got the Nook book for $2 or something like that.  Anywho…

From the series website :

The_Maze_Runner_coverWhen Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls. Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift. Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

It took me a while to get hooked on this story.  I didn’t really see the need for the other language of “shank,” “shucked,” and “greenie.”  I think that was more to entertain the boys who could be reading as I think this is directed at teen boys.  I could see my nephew enjoying this book someday.  It has weapons and animal like machine monsters with all sorts of weapons that fly out of it.  That’s right up his alley.

Dystopian novels are new to me.  The Hunger Games trilogy was kind of my first foray into the genre.  The whole idea of the world existing in a different form and humans still trying to survive for whatever reasons is intriguing.  Most often these stories make me happy to live in the world I do, despite its flaws.

Maze Runner is also a trilogy.  I got a first chapter preview of the 2nd book on the Nook and I think I’ll probably finish the trilogy but I’m not going to rush into the next book.  Or spend money on the next two books.  The library across the street has the others and that will suit me just fine.

Windy day

I had every intention of catching up on blog posts today.  I’ve finished two more books for the year!!  I’ll try to catch up tomorrow.  I should have went for a ride but I was called out.  Its probably a good thing because it was incredibily windy and I may have ended up in Nebraska without much effort.  I may split my ride tomorrow if the temps get up high enough.  Some inside, some outside – maybe that would help the time go by quicker.

I’m also hoping to get more of my office put back together and maybe even one of the beds moved into the guest room.  And laundry – there’s always laundry to do!

living life one shenanigan at a time

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